Although lifeguards conduct many functions in many places, a lifeguard’s essential responsibility is: |
The safety and well-being of all visitors in the guarded area, in both land and sea, through rigorous and applicable response.
At the lowest, a lifeguard is adept in first aid skills, rescue swimming, and public relations. At the premier rank, a lifeguard is an qualified EMT who conducts a vast assortment of skills in many situations that may not even call for lifeguarding in the common sense. These skills can include education in Code 3 Emergency Driving Techniques, Personal Water Craft Rescue, law enforcement, ATV operations and many other sophisticated skills.
The level of skills and knowledge that you need in order to be employed depends directly on the lifeguard job required and the lifeguarding world you wish to enter. For example, someone who is interested in becoming a deckhand or driver on a high-speed rescue boat in Huntington Beach will need different certification than someone who is intrigued in a lifeguarding job at a local pool.
Although all lifeguarding occupations mandate different skill sets, there are four primary skills that all lifeguards must hone.
In order to increase your chances of completing lifeguard training and getting hired as lifeguard, it is highly recommended that you master these skills.
This is especially true if you wish to become a pool lifeguard or a beach lifeguard
1) Physical Fitness
Physical training is a critical component of an professional and effective lifeguard. Although by no means do you have to be an Olympic Swimmer, you must be able to swim at a reasonable speed for lengthy intervals of time. Along with sound swimming capabilities, you must be particularly confident in the water and be able to tread water for long periods of time. You must also have enough power to protect, tow, and sustain victims for brief to moderate intervals.
2) Concentration and Thoroughness in a distracting and Exhausting Environment.
We’ve all witnessed it; the beach that is grouped with 1000s of citizens doing all sorts of ‘interesting’ activities, all wearing bikinis and board shorts. The sun heats the beach to a sleep-inducing heat of 90F and there’s a consistent sea breeze in the air. In an setting like this, it’s effortless to enable your eyes relax and join the masses that are indiscriminately ‘people watching’ at the beach. Not for lifeguards. In spite of all these distractions, it is crucial that lifeguards remain alert and diligent in their responsibility. It can take LESS than a minute for a drowning to happen, so it’s vital to posses the capability to focus on the task at hand.
3) Cool under Stress and Pressure
The capacity to stay calm and self-assured in a demanding environment is a MUST for lifeguards. One instant you’re routinely scanning the pool and telling little Johnny not to run, the next minute you take a look across the pool deck and you watch an elderly man quickly grab his chest and fall unconscious to the ground. Can you respond properly and keep cool in this ‘life or death’ circumstance? Or will you crack under the demands?
4) Communication skills
As a lifeguard, the general public anticipates a lot from you. Whether someone would like to know the water temperature or somebody is complaining about a child kicking sand in their face, you have to talk with the public in a competent and courteous manner. As your experience as a lifeguard expands, your capacity to resolve the public’s inquiries and conflicts will improve. It is important to keep a positive attitude and stay focused on the larger task at hand, in particular when an upset beach goer is making an attempt to sidetrack from your duty with his/her complaints.
For more lifeguard training tips, visit LifeguardCenter!
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